Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant

TO THE RIVER OGEECHEE.

OH wave that glidest swiftly
On thy bright and happy way,
From the morning until evening,
And from twilight until day,
Why leapest thou so joyously,
While coldly on thy shore
Sleeps the noble and the gallant heart,
For aye and evermore?
Or dost thou weep, oh river,
And is this bounding wave,
But the tear thy bosom sheddeth
As a tribute o'er his grave?
And when, in midnight's darkness,
The winds above thee moan,
Are they mourning for our sorrows,
Do they sigh for him that's gone?
Keep back thy tears, then, river,
Or, if they must be shed,
Let them flow but for the living,
They're needless for the dead.
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His soul shall dwell in glory,
Where bounds a brighter wave,
But our pleasures, with his troubles,
Are buried in the grave.